Category Archives: Our Teachers

HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO LEARN ENGLISH THIS AUTUMN

WATCH A FILM

Watching a film (or TV series) that you already know you enjoy can keep you motivated as you’ll already have an idea of what they’re talking about and the kinds of things that are being said, which means you won’t need to concentrate as much on the storyline and you can pay more attention to the language being used. If necessary, try turning on the subtitles IN ENGLISH so that you can read and listen at the same time (but be aware that sometimes the text doesn’t always match the audio 100%)

SPEAK TO FOREIGNERS

Here in Spain, there are so many English-speaking foreigners that you won’t have to look hard to find native English speakers in Madrid to practise with. Something as simple as giving someone directions on the metro in English, or even having an in-depth conversation about local history, can be enough to show that you know more than you think you do, as is the case with many English students in Madrid, and can be enough to give you that much-needed confidence boost and keep you motivated to continue learning and improving your English in Madrid.

TAKE CLASSES AT AN ACADEMY

Although it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to get started, once you’ve had that first English class in an English academy, you’ll find that your level of motivation will also increase. Here at our language academies in La Elipa and García Noblejas, we often find that our English students are a bit unsure at the beginning but with time and more English classes both their motivation and their confidence increases.

SUBSCRIBE TO A YOUTUBE CHANNEL

With the same benefits of watching films on TV series in English, but in a much shorter length of time, watching YouTube videos in English can be a great way of staying motivated. Most of us in 2019 probably have a YouTube account and watch videos on the platform regularly, so why not give it a try?

PLAN A TRIP

What better way to motivate yourself (or scaring yourself!) into learning more English could there be than knowing than you will soon be in an English-speaking country, surrounded by people who only speak English and not being able to reply on your native language? Having a specific goal like this in mind can be the perfect way to motivate yourself to improve your English quickly.

SET GOALS AND REMINDERS FOR YOURSELF

As previously mentioned, whether it’s the FCE or CAE exam, or an upcoming trip to an English-speaking country, having a specific goal in mind can be an excellent way of maintaining your level of motivation. If you set reminders for yourself, such as leaving post-its around the house or having weekly meet-ups or English classes to prepare for, you’ll be less likely to forget about these your goals and you’ll be surprised by just how quickly you’re able to advance.

If you’d like to know more and are interested in our English classes in Madrid, feel free to contact us or drop by either of our English academies in La Elipa and La Almudena, where any one of our native English teachers will be able to give you more information on our highly economical English classes in Madrid this autumn.

We hope to see you soon!

Autumn Idioms

Autumn years – often this is used to refer to the later years in someone’s life:
“In her autumn years, Debbie was able to enjoy her free time much more”

Turn over a new leaf – to reform and begin again:
“She has learned her lesson and has turned over a new leaf“.

To drive someone nuts – to make someone go crazy:
“That song is driving me nuts. Please stop playing it!”

To squirrel something away – to hide or store something like a squirrel:
“Paul squirreled away a lot of money while he was working and now he can enjoy his retirement”.

Golden handshake – Used in businesses to refer to a sum of money that is given to an employee (normally high level) when they leave:
“The CEO was given early retirement and a golden handshake of €500,000 when the company was restructured”.

DO YOU THINK IN ENGLISH? OR SPANISH?

Many of our students here at the academy in Madrid still think about a new language by translating through their first. This leads to common mistakes often spotted by our native teachers. Here we have listed the top mistakes for you to learn quickly and sound more native today!

Using COMO – HOW for questions.

How is this?
How spell this?
Using WITH – INSTEAD OF TO

Married TO someone as opposed to married WITH

John has been married with to Caroline for 5 years.

They have five years together.

This is also not correct as we have to specificy what they have together,

They have been together for five years.

TENER V SER – AGE

In English we don´t have our years, but we are them, this often causes confusion for beginners who like to say I have 10 years old instead of I am 10 years old.

James and John have ten years.

If this sentence seems correct to you, you´d be among the hundreds of Spanish speakers who also incorrectly use HAVE instead of TO BE when discussing ages. This is a fairly common mistake as of course in Spanish we use ´tener´.

 

AGREEMENT

I am agree

This sentence should be I agree with no use of am as agree is a verb itself!

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? INCLUDE THE SUBJECT!

It is very important to refer to the SUBJECT. In Spanish this can be omitted, so even advanced students are tempted to start their sentences with ´is very easy to´, but this leaves us feeling rather baffled; but what is easy? IT of course! IT is easy!

NEW WORD?

baffle
ˈbaf(ə)l/Enviar
verb
past tense: baffled; past participle: baffled
1.
totally bewilder or perplex.
“an unexplained occurrence that baffled everyone”
synonyms: perplex, puzzle, bewilder, mystify, bemuse, confuse, confound, nonplus, disconcert, throw, set someone thinking; More

A little chat with Dan in the Gandhi office

Hello! How are you?

I´m good thanks.

Where are you from?

I´m from Wimbledon in London.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Well, I´ve taught English in 4 different countries now, including Taiwan where I lived for 4 years. In my spare time I like drawing, hiking and eating!

How long have you been working at The Language Corner?

I´ve been here a year. I was teaching at the academy on Calle Gandhi and now I´m running the office at La Elipa, with a bit of teaching too

What do you like most about teaching?

I love talking and meeting new people, and discovering the differences between languages , and accents!

What do you think is difficult about learning Spanish?

Ooh I think pronouns are complicated and I just cannot do the spanish “r” sound at all. I try practising “pero” and “perro” and it just sounds like “Pedro!”

What kind of music do you like?

Lots of stuff, particularly electropop, folk and anything that sounds like Bjork.

Top tip for learning English

Try and do things you enjoy but in English. If you like films, watch English language films, if you like reading, try English books. At the moment I’m looking for more Spanish language music to listen to. Does anyone have any recommendations??

Tell us a random fact about yourself

I´ve been on television at least ten different times, mostly all embarrassing!

The Sights and Sounds of Avenida del Marqués de Corbera

At The Language Corner we feel very lucky to have our English school so close to such a vibrant and fascinating road as Avenida del Marqués de Corbera. It plays a very important role in the life of the La Elipa community and our native English teachers always comment on how much activity there is up and down the length of the road.La Elipa Metro

As well as being the main road through La Elipa the Avenida del Marqués de Corbera hosts some of the most popular social events. If you are from the Ciudad Lineal area you surely must have attended at least one of the Fiesta de Septiembre, Mercadillo Popular de la Artesanía, Carrera Popular, Fiesta de la Bicicleta and Cabalgatas de los Reyes!

Avenida del Marqués de Corbera was recently featured prominently on the RTVE program. It starred amongst other people the famous local band Burning, who themselves reference La Elipa and Avenida del Marqués de Corbera in many of their tunes. Also featured were the Asociación de Vecinos La Nueva Elipa, who we support in their important work in the local area.Dragon La Elipa

Other highlights of Avenida del Marqués de Corbera include the incredibly well-known Dragón of La Elipa and the fantastically friendly bar La Fornia, where you can often find The Language Corner teachers enjoying the great food and ambience. The road is a short distance from other important local sites such as the Cementerio de La Almudena, Fuente del Berro park, the TV tower El Pirulí and the adjoining padel courts.

So as you can see Avenida del Marqués de Corbera is much more than just a road, it’s an authentic piece of Madrid history!

LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!!

Are you a businessman or businesswoman living in Madrid?
Do you work or would you like to work for an international company?
Would you like to study business, human resources or another professional degree?
Do you hope to get a job in the business field?
Have you always dreamed of working overseas?

The Business English Certificate (BEC) is what you need. The BEC is a Cambridge exam that can qualify your level of proficiency in business English. You will learn things such as how to write formal letters, how to take notes, how to give presentations, how to communicate ideas and you will develop business vocabulary.

This September, why not invest in your future by studying for the Business English Certificate (BEC) at our Language Academy located in Madrid. The Language Corner has a BEC English Class this September. Conveniently located near many business districts in Madrid in postcode 28017. The Language Corner is located at C/ Gandhi, 19.

The Native teachers at our English Academy are happy to help you prepare for the BEC exam, or any other English objectives that you might have.

TLC

Laughter and English Learning

The Language Corner is an English Academy located in Cuidad Lineal, Madrid. Our two language schools are staffed with native English teachers. The teachers have experience in the field of education, but they also have other skills such as: business, theatre, art, dance, maths, science, and more.

Today’s article is about Laughter and Language Learning. Jessica, who is on staff at The Language corner, is a certified Laughter Yoga Instructor and a Laughter Therapist. She has been teaching English in Madrid for the last five years and has found it very common that Spanish students learning English talk about “vergüenza”. Jessica gives Laugher English workshops where she says, “Students are given the opportunity to practice English in a more relaxed and natural manner”.

There are many benefits to learning English with laughter as a tool. Some of these benefits are:

You will find yourself more attentive, more motivated, and more excited to go to class.
The level of interaction between students is higher.
The level of interaction with the teacher is higher.
Laugher is infectious and will have everyone participating.
Your levels of stress and anxiety are much lower while you are laughing.
Classes that include laughter are a lot of fun!

TLC

Keep Improving Your English This Summer… Don’t Sleep On It!

Keep Improving Your English This Summer… Don’t Sleep On It!
This summer in-between your travel plans you should make time to keep improving your English. Taking an English audio book to listen to while you’re on the beach or something to read on the plane are great ideas to continue learning.

Don’t Sleep On It Inglés Madrid Verano!

At The Language Corner we don’t close during summer so for Intensive English Summer Courses in Madrid look no further! In addition to some regular classes continuing throughout the summer, we have special one week courses of 2 or 3 hours every day. It’s the perfect way to boost your English!

We have adults’ and children’s classes, from Beginner to Advanced, and Cambridge exam preparation (PET, First Certificate, CAE.) Ask us to find out our timetable.
Come and join our native English teachers in La Elipa to make rapid improvements while the rest of Madrid sleeps!

TLC

Aptis Exam Explained

 

Here at The Language Corner in La ELipa and García Noblejas we have been getting many requests for information about Aptis, the latest exam by The British Council. In both our English academies we offer preparation classes for both Aptis General and Aptis Advanced. But before you sign up to English classes in our academy, let’s explain exactly what the Aptis entails.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that the entire Aptis exam is done on a computer. It takes a total of 2hours and 32 minutes with all the skills being tested. It’s a scaled exam so there is no pass or fail mark but your results are given as a CEFR level for A0-C for the Aptis General and B1-C2 for the Aptis Advanced.

The Aptis, as well as being a cheaper and quicker alternative to the Cambridge exams such as The First Certificate and Advanced it is also becoming more widely recognised here in Spain. The Aptis General is valid if you are a student and need to demonstrate you have a B1 or B2 level and the Aptis Advanced is accepted by the Comunidad de Madrid as proof of linguistic competence for teachers.

As with most English language exams, Aptis is split into sections covering Reading, Writing, Speaking Listening and Grammar & Vocabulary. Let’s have a look at each section and how to best approach it.

Speaking

Part 1

The first part of the Speaking consists of 3 simple questions which you have 30 seconds to respond to.  They are usually related to your life, your hobbies, family or holidays. Each question will usually require you to use a certain tense so be mindful of that when you are answering.

As the test is done on a computer, a good way to practise this particular part is to record yourself answering some basic questions on your phone while using a timer. This will not only help you with time management but also with your pronunciation and intonation.

Being the first part of the test means the questions are simple but it doesn’t mean your answers have to be. I don’t mean that you should try to over-complicate things but it is a good idea to use these short questions to show off some vocabulary you know related to the topic. An example could be to learn an idiom that describes a person such as “He/she is a blast!” (the person is a lot of fun) This way you can use it to describe a friend, family member or someone you work with.

Here are some typical questions from Aptis:

  1. Please tell me about your family.
  2. Where did you go on your last holiday?
  3. What’s the weather like today?

Each answer should be between 4 and 6 sentences long. Speak clearly and at a pace you’re comfortable with and you should have no problem answering the questions from part 1.

Part 2

In the second part of the Speaking Test, you will be asked to describe a picture and then answer two further questions about it. This time you have 45 seconds to respond.

A typical example of this could be the picture on the left.

  1. Describe the picture.
  2. Do you often have to work in a team in work or university?
  3. Why is teamwork important?

 

 

 

To see example answers to these questions and tips on how to describe pictures, check out our previous entry on Aptis Speaking.

 

Part 3

In this part of the exam, you will be shown two pictures and asked to compare them. This is quite similar to the FCE or CAE and finding examples from those exams will help immensely. Again, there are 3 questions which each have a 45 second limit for answering.

  1. Compare the two pictures.
  2. Why might people choose each type of holiday?
  3. Which of these types of holidays are better for you?

Part 4

The last part of the Speaking test for Aptis, you are once again given a photo with three questions. This time, however, you’ll have one minute to prepare your ideas and two minutes to cover all three questions.

  1. Describe an old person you admire and why.
  2. How do you know them?
  3. What characteristics do they have that you like?

Check out our previous post for ideas and tips on how to answer these parts of the Aptis

Don’t forget you can prepare for the Aptis exam in Madrid in our English academies in Madrid in both La Elipa and Garcia Noblejas. All of our native teachers at our language academies are familiar with not only the Aptis but also all of the Cambridge exams. So if you are looking to prepare for the FCE in Madrid or the CAE in Madrid, make sure you stop by our English academies in Madrid in La Elipa and La Almudena. Looking forward to meeting you!

madrid academy language

Best Vegan Food in Madrid

Below is collection of our favourite plant-based & vegetarian places only 20minutes from The Language Corner academy in La Elipa. Our teachers , ´profesores nativos´ have also listed their favourite thing or what they most enjoy in each place. As we are based near metro La Elipa, and our sister language academy based in La Almudena, we can get to most of these locations on Line 2 direct to Sol and then change!

What do you think? Do you have others to add?

La Colectiva Café
4.5  (120) · Coffee Shop
Calle Francisco de Rojas, 9
Breakfast · Cosy · Casual

Visit for the spacious laptop area and working space downstairs. The selection of cakes is absolutely divine, and vegan! If you still have fussy friends, cows milk is available but their kitchen is vegan.

La Encomienda
4.5
  (287) · Vegan

Calle Encomienda, 19
Cosy · Casual · Vegetarian options

Visit for their delicious cheesecakes. The daily menu isn´t their best offering but allows a price point to try some of the different dishes. Our favourite is the seitan.

Restaurante Vegetariano Artemisa Sol – Gran Vía
4.2  (395) · Vegetarian
Calle de las Tres Cruces, 4
Reservations required · Outdoor seating · Cosy
Visit for their desert! The custard cinnamon tart is heavenly.

Veggie Room
4.8  (131) · Natural Foods Store
Calle de San Vicente Ferrer, 19
This isn´t a restaurant but had to make the list as it is known on the scene as the best store for veggie and vegan items such as meat cuts, ice creams and egg replacement.

Llanten Veggie Bar
4.6  (183) · Vegan
Calle del Cardenal Cisneros, 40
Cosy · Casual · Vegetarian options
Their menus can be quite cost effective if you want a nice rich flavourful meal. Their dishes are mostly mushroom based, and the starters have our vote

Bunny’s Deli
4.8  (25) · Vegan
3.8 km · Calle San Gregorio, 17
Breakfast · Cosy · Casual
A bit pricer, this is more of a takeout stop offering superb quality dishes with a menu that changes daily.

Pizzi & Dixie
4.4  (167) · Restaurant
Calle de San Vicente Ferrer, 16
Cosy · Casual · Good for kids
Visit for the ´Dixie Classic´. Our absolute favourite on the list, this all-vegan pizza place is a must for non-vegans too! They make their own coconut cheese in-house and even have a charcoal pizza – known to be a good hangover cure! Try their Dixie Classic on your first visit.